The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu explained how strengthening health infrastructure has helped to effectively cope with the pandemic.
After successfully controlling the spread of COVID-19 by deploying a comprehensive healthcare strategy, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said he was now focusing on the task of providing free vaccination to everyone in the state.
The CM said the front-line workforce, including healthcare workers, police, the elderly and people with co-morbidities, would be covered in the first phase. His remarks on the matter came during a conversation with Dr Malini Parthasarathy, chairman of the Hindu Publications Group, who called him to his residence here on Wednesday.
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When asked whether it was not better to involve private hospitals in vaccine distribution, especially since there was a need to increase vaccine production and distribution, he asserted that private hospitals would be involved later. The Chief Minister met with The Hindu on how strengthening health infrastructure has helped to effectively cope with the pandemic.
Besides the establishment of 11 new medical schools and the modernization of more than 2,400 primary health centers, 6.17 lakh “fever camps” were held statewide, where 3.26 crore of people were screened. . RT-PCR tests were carried out on 1.35 million people and the testing process was ongoing, with an average of 70,000 samples per day. He said 15,000 health workers had been appointed exclusively to treat COVID-19 positive cases and that 2,000 mini-clinics with a doctor and two paramedics were also being established.
“Although the number of new cases and deaths has declined dramatically, the aggressive screening process continues in all districts. The strategy to create facilities such as adequate beds; Intensive care facilities equipped with a sufficient number of ventilators, oxygen cylinders, antiviral drugs, etc. and Covid care centers, gave the expected results, ”said the Chief Minister.
With over 7.93 lakh people recovering from the infection and the death rate maintained at 1.48%, the state’s performance received words of appreciation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had urged to other states to emulate the Tamil Nadu pandemic management model, Palaniswami said.
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Mr. Palaniswami said his government is keen to preserve the legacy of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in raising awareness among women, with a focus on their safety and empowerment.
He said Chennai and Coimbatore were considered the safest cities for women. Chennai City Police had installed around 3 lakh CCTV cameras, the tallest in the country, which served as a deterrent to criminals and also aided in the early detection of cases. People were encouraged to install CCTV cameras on their premises as a safety measure, he added. The “Kavalan” app was another SOS mechanism for people in distress to seek help from the police.
Explaining his plan to open up the state economy and instill confidence that the state’s health security is in order, he said he is making efforts in this regard. Industrially, a one-stop-shop system had simplified the process of sanctioning trade proposal approvals.
“I call a meeting every month to deal with pending requests for various approvals. Absolute transparency has been established in the system to stimulate industrial activity… any industrialist can request an appointment and come and meet me for a redress of grievance, ”he declared.
Asked about the possibility of authorizing private investments in the electricity sector, the chief minister ruled out the possibility of privatizing the electricity sector, saying that “it would cause a lot of problems”. He said the Government of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) would follow the point of view of the people, who wanted the energy sector to be state owned and operated.
Despite the COVID-19 lockdown, the state apparatus ensured the implementation of social protection programs without interruption, the CM said. Agricultural activity was not affected during the pandemic and rice cultivation in the Cauvery Delta region had recorded a record yield. The lockout and subsequent banning orders had no impact on the prices of essentials, he added.
When asked if he believes he can further the legacy of former charismatic leader Jayalalithaa and give AIADMK a decisive mandate, Palaniswamy said he was on a tour of the State with the approach of the elections to the Assembly and that it was clear that “Makkal thaan Ammavin vaarisu(The people are Jayalalithaa’s heirs). He expressed confidence that the administrative work done by his government over the past four years would be of great benefit to him.